JUN 7 | FRI 5-7PM
I AM HERe Public Art Installation Reception
First Friday Art Walk
Robinsons Plaza, Nevada City
JUN 8 | SAT 5 – 7PM
I AM HERe Collaborating Artists
Group Art Exhibition Reception
BriarPatch Co-Op Gallery
I AM HERe brings the community together through exploration of our shared rural experiences – both the similarities and differences.
Opening Reception: June 7, 5-7PM
132 Main St., Nevada City, CA
Tie on Tags are offered as a way to interact with the art. Here are some of the many tags I have recorded so far. Click here to learn more about the I AM HERE project.
Opening Reception: June 7, 5-7PM
132 Main St., Nevada City, CA
Located in the Robinson Plaza of Nevada City, California, the installation is a collaboration between Ruth Chase and thirteen Key Participants, built by Monica Hughes, and Sally Peterson. QR codes are linked to videos of the key participants, and a social engagement opportunity for all who visit. The videos were filmed and edited by Will Edwards and Ruth Chase.
I AM HERE is a true community collaboration. Through several gatherings under the artistic direction of Ruth Chase, a group of local women (Key Participants) arrived at a collective vision for an interactive public art installation, “I AM HERe.”
The key participants in I AM HERE are Cassie Angle, Elma Baker, Melinda Booth, Virginia Rose Covert, Kimberlee Evans, Susan Gouveia, Isis Indriya, Kayle Martin, Erin Noel, Elisa Parker, Shelby Richardson, Jennifer Singer, and Ginny Woods (known as AniLa in her Buddhist practice). Together they explored what it means to belong in Nevada County as a woman and developed a vision for this art installation. Significant symbolism was used to lead the design, including charring of the wood to represent renewal and care for the earth as mother, as well as weaving to represent community and integration.
Once the symbolic vision was determined, Ruth Chase, Monica Hughes, and Sally Peterson worked together to design a structure that would embrace these ideas and symbology. The “I AM HERe” installation is made of local manzanita branches and Yuba River rock, and includes audio elements along with QR codes linked to videos of the key participants sharing their perspective on their sense of belonging.
I AM HERe interactive sign has 13 QR codes to on minute videos.
I AM HERE is an initiative of Nevada County Art Council led by Artist Ruth Chase, generously funded in part by California Arts Council through its Artists in Communities Program.
I AM HERe explores how women find and maintain their sense of belonging in our changing rural landscape. I AM HERE is, ultimately, a community conversation- a way to connect, explore and empower.
Key participant Cassie Angle explored what it means to belong in Nevada County as a woman and expresses her perspective in this short video as part of the I AM HERe Art Installation.
I am Here
I am a Farmer
I am a Rancher
I am an Entrepreneur
I am a Nature Lover
I am a sixth generation Nevada Countian born connected to the land. After spending time living away from this beautiful county, I returned to raise a family and farm. I am connected to the seasons deep into my soul; they are in my veins and my thoughts. I am here to support women in agriculture and promote getting back to the land.
Owner, The Angle Homestead
Documented by its filmmaker Ruth Chase, with cinematographer William Edwards.
Made possible by a grant through Nevada County Arts Council from California Arts Council.
To learn more about I AM HERe
I AM HERe Collaborating Artists
Group Art Exhibition
BriarPatch Co-op Gallery
290 Sierra College Dr., Grass Valley, CA
Opening Reception: June 8, 5-7PM
Exhibition Dates: June 7 – July 2, 2019
I AM HERE is pleased to present a group exhibition from the I AM HERE Collaborating Artists. Thirteen outstanding women artists reflect on their experiences of living in a rural community as it relates to their individual sense of belonging. Artists, Lisa Barker, Ruth Chase, Sheila Cameron, Sarah Clark, Sherri Dauphinais, Dee Anne Dinelli, Juli Elin, Flo Fahrenheit, Kathleen Fenton, Jenny Hale, Lori Lachman, Terra Nyssa, Tara Rose, Jennifer Rugge, and Valerie Stuart have co-created the exhibition in order to explore and encourage others to explore what it means to belong here, especially as a woman.
The exhibition includes photography, painting, fiber art, interactive public engagement, video, collage, and multimedia works. QR Codes have been incorporated as an interactive feature to view artists perspectives, which are quite diverse.
The exhibit is part of the Nevada County Arts Council’s year-long I AM HERE arts initiative, led by Artist Ruth Chase and generously funded in part by California Arts Council through its Artists in Communities Program.
The I AM HERE initiative is making use of many different platforms to look at the question of women finding and maintaining their sense of belonging in our changing rural landscape. These platforms include not only this art exhibit but also social media, public art-making salons, a performance art piece, a short film, and an interactive I AM HERE Public Art Installation in Robinson’s Plaza (this May – June).
Group photo by Lori Lachman
It was through the I AM HERe project that I met Kimberlee and immediately felt close to her. Me, city slicker, her, educated farm girl. Yet we had far more in common than not. I sat with Kim at her home and we talked about what it was like for her to grow up in rural Nevada County as a woman.
Where did you grow up and how far back does your family go in Nevada County?
I was born in Anchorage Alaska, my dad was stationed there during Vietnam. I grew up in Nevada County from the time I was 7 and am the fourth generation to live in Nevada County dating back to the 1910-1920s.
Would you call yourself a Rural Woman?
Without a doubt! I grew up on a dirt road where we worked and played through the weekend. I had no idea what it was like to have an assigned parking space and shared walls until I went to Chico State.
What defines a rural woman in your opinion?
My roots run deep, but my wings have allowed me to become my unique self.
That we have bloomed where we were planted. We understand what we have, how to make it work for our lives and how to thrive. I think that there is a misconception that a rural woman is the one who stays home and cooks and cleans, for me, a rural woman is someone who can see where she comes from and develop into what she was meant to be without forgetting her roots. I am so much like the women in my life who came before me.
So tell me, what is a day in the life of Kimberlee like?
There is never a typical day, but I wouldn’t want it any other way.
My off hour’s job is taking care of my 10-acre ranch that was built out of love for family. This is something I am proud to own and make better to one day hand off to my daughter. Currently, we have a handful of farm animals that keep us busy and happy.
Initially, the ranch belonged to my Grandparents. Currently, we have a handful of farm animals that keep us busy and happy.
For 13 years I have taught Middle School and youth sports at Lyman Gilmore Middle School. It truly feeds my soul to work with this age group. Since I was a graduate of Lyman Gilmore myself, it’s fun to be able to bring it full circle and give back to the community that gave to me growing up. I am always challenged to be better for every student, I am a mom, sister, teacher, nurse….
What’s it like to have a daughter?
I am a mom to a beautiful soul, with a kind heart and a lot of my strength and sass. McKinlee! She is the light in every day and challenges me to think differently, love harder and be the best version I can be daily. She is a strong little lady, who wants to save the world one animal and one wrongdoing at a time. Being her mom is by far the greatest joy and honor I have ever been given. I look at her in awe every day!
Would you say there are any barriers to being a woman in this rural county?
This is a tough question. I was raised in this community, so there are many things that I accepted as it was just the way it was. I am part of the agriculture and 4H community in Nevada County, working outside and raising our food and animals. The barriers for me have come from the “community” I associated with and the old ways of thinking.
My grandparents believed women shouldn’t work or waste time playing sports. Instead, I should be at home helping on the “homestead” .
This was not the opinion of my parents, but it was absolutely that of my grandparents. It was only when I moved away to college where I noticed that this wasn’t the same everywhere. Do those barriers still exist, no, not in the same way?
There are two very different cultures in this community. The Agriculture community, and a more modern culture where diverse views are accepted, where the arts and a broader view of crafts are encouraged, and new ways of dealing with the environment and the land.
In order for me to not feel the barriers of years past, I have to be open, accepting, and a part of both communities.
Thank you, Laura Peterson, for editing help
Photos by ARB
A few thoughts I had about the artist I know and love.
Creatives and artists often don’t live in the mainstream. So whatever is “trending” now they are YEARS beyond that mindset.
They’re innovators, expanding the way we see and experience the world around us.
They have an essential role in healing, teaching, giving us new ways to think and observe everything, storytelling, stabilizing the economy, revisioning history, and bridging gaps.
Artists are the fiber of transformation, they are visionaries, and a precious resource for building our communities.
Painted in collaboration with Elaine Love Leslie by Ruth Chase. The painting reflects her life story and the wisdom she has as a result of growing up in Venice, CA. This was the final painting in the West of Lincoln Project, completed in early 2017. Painted by Ruth Chase.
There is a real gift in darkness. That’s why the moon disappears and we have seasons. The dark is necessary in order for the regrowth. The seed lives in darkness before it emerges into its full potential.
I was five years old in 1974. That is when my single mother, in pursuit of freedom, moved us from Colorado to our new home on Sunset Ave in Venice. The house was nothing more than a shack, and it was already the home to a thousand cockroaches. “I’m going to paint the kitchen yellow,” she said, and I remember hearing her voice crack with both bravery and fear. As a child, one of my favorite things to do was watch my mother be brave.
Venice was my greatest spiritual teacher, for there was sacredness there, an unspoken law of survival. You will know danger and become intimate with fear. You will learn your strength, for it will be called on often in the ritual of being a child in the wild.
I found God in everything and everyone. I heard messages of love preached by crazy people conversing with angels in the form of sand. My home was a safe haven of lost souls. We welcomed all. My childhood was filled with nights of wine and weed, and conversations about art, spirituality, politics, liberation, music, literature, and madness. These were the sacred hymns that lulled my young bones to sleep; these were the songs of my youth.
Beautifully written by Elaine Love Leslie
I spent the past twenty years making art under the radar. Until 2015 when I started creating installations that included paintings about positive social change.
Being invisible was a tactic I adapted from an early age to avoid drama. As I got older, I would do anything to avoid conflict. As an artist, I played it safe so I wouldn’t say the wrong thing. With time it seemed to say the wrong thing was worse than saying anything at all. It was an inner struggle, but it felt safe and secure.
BAD ART STUDENT
I needed to get out of Los Angeles. I needed to escape the broken girl that came from the streets of Venice. It was the 80’s, and I was attending the San Francisco Art Institute, totally in love with conceptual art, it was an exclusive club for smart artist people. I hoped that no one would notice how un-smart I felt compared to those savvy thinkers and prolific art makers on Chestnut Street. I wanted nothing more than to be as smart and interesting as they were. In school I would study for countless hours, only to get barely passing grades, it was so demoralizing and painful. I would drown my sorrows by marathon painting, keeping to myself. My teachers, Fred Martin, Angela Davis, Carlos Villa, and Julius Hatofsky were my heroes, my mentors, I wanted them to rescue me, to tell me how to create work that mattered. My work was a whisper against the backdrop of big ideas and loud voices.
One of my first portraits from back in the day.
When I started painting, I would follow a voice that would come forth from a spirit on the other side asking me to see them. I had no idea what I was doing, I would just paint, in time I understood that I could use channeling from nonphysical energy to guide my work. I remember distinctly that this spirit was eager to be seen and released. While I still use this method in some of my work, I am so much more aware of what is happening and far more particular of who and what I channel.
oil on canvas
6 x 4′
by Ruth Chase